Roberta ‘Bosey’ Fulbright Foote Prize

The Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize recognizes a member of the UM community—faculty, staff, student, or trustee—who has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the beauty, humanity, and future of the campus. 

The Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize recognizes a member of the UM community—faculty, staff, student, or trustee—who has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the beauty, humanity, and future of the campus. 

Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote came to Miami in 1981, when her husband, Edward T. “Tad” Foote II, became the fourth president of the University of Miami. While President Foote set his sights on building the University’s academic and financial strengths, Bosey set hers on growing its natural beauty. She knew that the setting must contribute to the institution’s mission.

Working closely with Margaret Hatcher, Robert Parsley, and Geomantic Designs, as well as with the UM architecture and design faculty and buildings and grounds team, Bosey put herself into almost every leaf, blade, frond, and flower that now flourishes on campus.  She was an ardent supporter of the University’s John C. Gifford Arboretum, a collection of rare plants and trees maintained for educational and research purposes and to inspire an appreciation for tropical vegetation. She opened a series of palmetums featuring palms and cycads from several countries. Her efforts continue to make buildings brighter, vistas more colorful and textured, and breezeways, walkways, and seating areas more inviting.

UM President Julio Frenk is pleased to present the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize in her honor to a member of the UM community—faculty, staff, student, or trustee—who has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the beauty, humanity, and future of the campus. 

Nomination Categories

Nominations may be submitted for individuals or teams. One recipient (individual or team) is selected each year, demonstrating excellence in at least one of the following categories:

  • Natural Campus Beautification – recognizes outstanding efforts to enhance the natural beauty of the University of Miami campuses in outdoor spaces, ensure protection of natural landscapes, engage the University community in preserving the beauty of our open spaces, and instill pride in the campus environment.
  • Creation of Collaborative Spaces – recognizes efforts and activities to enhance collaboration through the creation and/or creative utilization of physical spaces (indoors or outdoors), thus enhancing our sense of community and creating ownership of shared spaces.
  • Supporting Environmental Sustainability – recognizes outstanding efforts to implement sustainability actions that improve the University environment, reduce waste, and inspire others to act in ways that protect our natural resources. 

Who Is Eligible?

  • Students – Students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree-seeking programs

  • Faculty – Regular faculty (all faculty having tenured or tenure-earning appointments who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor), associated faculty, or faculty in the classification of research, educator, or librarian during the academic year of the award

  • Staff – Full-time employees on all campuses of the University of Miami "in good standing," as verified through Human Resources

  • Trustees – Senior, national, and regular members of the University’s Board of Trustees

  • Alumni – UM alumni engaged in activities supporting one or more of the nomination categories

  • Donors – UM donors engaged in activities supporting one or more of the nomination categories

Nominate a Candidate

To submit a nomination, please send a nomination letter indicating the category, recipient or group name, and summary of nomination to  VPHR@miami.edu.

Submit a Nomination

Inaugural Recipient

Stephen D. Pearson, director of the John C. Gifford Arboretum, is the inaugural recipient of the Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foote Prize. Over the years, Pearson helped start the Tropical Flowering Tree Society and served as president of the Friends of Chapman Field. For the last 24 years, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Montgomery Botanical Center. As Chairman of the City of Miami’s Beautification Committee, he led volunteers in planting flowering and native trees along I-95 and other highways in the early 1990’s. He has been honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Florida Urban Forestry Council and the National Outstanding Volunteer Award from American Forests and the National Urban Forestry Council.

Through his enthusiasm for preserving the history of our community’s natural environment, Pearson has created a peaceful oasis for meditation and relaxation on our campus. With a diverse and unusual collection of over 450 trees that spans every continent except Antarctica, the Gifford Arboretum is also a valuable tool for education and research.

“Real estate and business law was my profession, but horticulture and plants were my vocation,” says Pearson, who worked as a lawyer for most of his career.